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17 July 2015

How to prepare your business for the Great British summer

Summertime always presents great opportunities to promote your business, raise awareness and boost revenue. With consumer confidence growing and forecasters promising hot dry weather over the next few months, we’ve put together some tips to help make this your best summer yet.

1. Take it outside
Look for ways to get in front of your customers. Consumer-facing businesses are perfectly placed to host events or take part in local markets and fairs, to remind existing customers they’re still there and let potential customers know they exist.

2. Become a hot summer topic
Events like the World Cup and Wimbledon provide great opportunities to increase revenue. Themed events, special deals and promotional tie-ins. will allow your business to take full advantage of the season’s hot topics, while raising awareness and remaining current at the same time.

3. Get social
Summer is a very sociable season, with the great weather bringing a wealth of holidays, meet-ups and barbecues, which increases social interactions online. Social media is the fastest and most inexpensive way to get in front of lots of customers for many small businesses. Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are quick and easy to set up and add a new channel to your marketing.

4. Keeping customers happy
Strange but true: people spend more when the sun shines. To keep your customers coming back to you over the summer, smarten up your processes and sharpen up your staff so you don’t miss out when they want to spend. Once they are happy, get testimonials from them and shout about them; testimonials help build trust and ensure customers come to you first.

5. Reward loyalty
Everyone knows it costs more to get new customers than it does to keep existing ones, so using loyalty card schemes, next purchase discounts and refer-a-friend programmes are great ways of rewarding their loyalty.

6. List it online
Allow customers to find you from anywhere, when they’re looking for the products and services your business offers. Tools such as Google Places are easy to set up and could make a big difference, meaning you won’t just rely on customers finding you by chance.

7. Cover staff holidays
Staff will inevitably want to take time off during the summer, but your sales shouldn’t suffer as a result. Have a plan in place to keep things ticking over and make sure there is a decent handover. You could also advertise internships at local colleges and universities, allowing you to seamlessly continue doing business and giving students some valuable experience for their CV.

However you plan to make the most of the summer, make sure you have adequate funds, stock and processes in place to meet demand. It’s also a great time to start planning for the next big season – Christmas!